I was scheduled to fish with Justin Rea for two days–yesterday and the day before. Joining me was Frankie Marion, who intended to get some footage of permit fishing. While we got out the first day, the second was a wash as the weather moved in, but I managed to spend some time fishing from shore with Frankie Marion. Here’s what all went down:
We met Justin at the dock at 7:30 and were met with pretty amazing conditions: clear blue sky and (most important for permit fishing but rare this time of year) a stiff breeze on the water that we hoped would let us approach permit without getting the cold shoulder so typical with a fly rod.
We began near to the dock, and saw a few fish that saw us first–normal for the morning, when the light is still low enough to prevent great visibility. I had a bite from a medium sized tarpon on my permit fly, and we had another shot at a small group of three permit that spooked when the fly landed.
We moved on, and at this point became aware of the clouds–building, approaching, and full of rain. We fished until the clouds forced us as far west as we could go, in the process getting a few permit shots and another look from a tarpon that was ready to eat the fly but was prevented from doing so by the permit we spotted past him that made me pull the fly away.
After our run west, we had a few hours of decent light before the clouds fully moved in and prevented us from seeing anything. We were out of options, and while it poured rain and scattered lightning around us we holed up in a channel, huddled low to the deck to avoid enticing a bolt of lightning. After my close call with Aaron last year in the Del Brown, I have absolutely no interest in lightning, but we didn’t have a choice. In an hour we went back out, enjoying the last hour of light before another August storm approached and shut us down for good.
The problem was that the storm was too much to keep us from crossing the channel on the way home, so we re-huddled and kept an eye out for chance to make a break for it.
After nosing out into the gale twice, Justin couldn’t stand it anymore, and we went to a nearby wreck to catch some lookdowns and a blue runner on a Clouser to pass the time. When the weather cleared enough for us to cross the channel we did, and ran home without further issue.
The weather started as poorly as it ended the day before, and while we waited a few hours we were still surrounded by enough rain and clouds at 8:30 for us to call it a reschedule. Frankie and I went to a small pond locally where we found some small tarpon frolicking in the rain, and while we saw plenty we were unable to get a bite.
After the final phone call to Justin (in which we definitively called it a day) Frankie and I returned home to drink some coffee and consider our options. I decided that it was worth going nearby to the site of one of my two tarpon wading captures.
I made two casts with the 8 weight before getting a bite on the third–a great way to start the morning session. While this bite sustained our interest for a few hours, when the motivation it caused was gone so were we. It is worth mentioning that Frankie captured a grey snapper on the fly pole, and I captured two cool looking crabs by hand from the sargassum.
We finished the day by shooting some casting footage in the park, hopefully the introduction portion of a series of videos on fly casting.
Tomorrow and the next day with Joe. Aaron may join us. Reports will follow.